Sensation seeking and adolescent drinking: Do protective behavioral strategies lower risk?

Diana M. Doumas, G. Michael Russo, Raissa Miller, Susan Esp, Nadine R. Mastroleo, Rob Turrisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a cross-sectional design, we examined protective behavioral strategies (PBS) as a moderator of the relationship between sensation seeking and hazardous drinking and alcohol-related consequences among high school seniors (N = 212). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated sensation seeking was a significant predictor of binge drinking (β = 0.65, p < 0.001), prepartying (β = 0.71, p < 0.001), gaming (β = 0.75, p < 0.001), and alcohol-related consequences (β = 0.69, p < 0.001). Further, PBS moderated these relationships such that among high sensation seeking adolescents, PBS use was associated with better outcomes, including lower levels of binge drinking (β = −0.37, p < 0.01), prepartying (β = −0.44, p < 0.01), gaming (β = −0.31, p < 0.05), and alcohol-related consequences (β = −0.53, p < 0.001). We discuss counseling implications, including assessment and harm reduction strategies focusing on PBS to reduce hazardous drinking among high sensation seeking adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-363
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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